April 4, 2005

Excerpts: Culture of the New

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 10:30 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Companies admire and adore new things: new products, new customers, new deals, new territories. We live in a culture in which new is admired and old is rejected. Maintenance of the existing is drudgery, left to the lower paid, least important employees; trail-blazing of the new is the privilege of bright, talented executives. Compensation is traditionally higher for new customer acquisitions than for sales to existing customers. This cultural phenomenon sends a clear message about what is appreciated and rewarded in the organizationand therefore where resources should be invested. Employees, taking their cue from top management, will emulate the new culture in everyday work. In an environment of ever more limited resources, in which fewer projects get attention, the culture of the new will lead employees to neglect the care and maintenance of existing customers.
In this culture, maintaining and nurturing existing customers is regarded as secondary. We love to sell to one customer and move on to the next. Customers quickly get the message that the honeymoon is over, their business is being taken for granted, and they will no longer command priority attention. Adapting the companys lesson to their own situation, customers seek new vendors who will treat them as new customers.